A missed point on sweet Sherry
I was quite stoked when I saw this headline as I thought the author of the article was going to bring up the point that, as one of the driving markets for sweet and blended Sherries, the UK in a post-Brexit time won’t buy as much of it. This could have had the same benefit (after a good deal of pain) to rework the entire Sherry market like it did for Georgia and their age-old production of Semi Sweet and Semi Dry wines going up in smokes when Russia placed an embargo on them in 2006. Losing their market for those wines made them return a great deal to the dry wines that they produce naturally instead of these sweetie ones for the Russian palate.
But no, once I read this BBC article, I saw that it was yet another dippy allusion to sweet Sherry and biting insight did not ensue which was really a shame. Don’t get me wrong, while I wouldn’t find myself drinking a glass of the fully-sweet dessert Sherries from Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez, I could happily use them as a syrup or some other kind of ingredient.
No, it’s the damnable blended Sherries that one can only hope a weakened British Pound will stop from being made. Pale Cream, Medium, and Cream are all names that should be lost to the annals of history as even when they’re well-made they still taste like you took a forklift and dump truck, stuck them together somehow and declared it the ultimate in utility. In other words, there’s always something a bit off with the blended Sherries.
One thing is for sure and that’s the fact that the bodegas down in Jerez won’t be dropping their prices any further to cater to a poorer British market. I don’t really understand how they have them as low as they do and I’m most certainly not the first person to say that Sherry is an incredible bargain. Naturally, the catch is that you need to first realize that the best ones are dry and that you can drink them with pretty much anything on this fine planet. Once you get there, you’ll find it to be a very wonderful Happy Place to be in.
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
Domaine Fontanel - Prieuré 2014 92
Dense ruby with brick flecks. Crisp red fruits, lifted by a waft of volatility making for a light nose with a spicy licorice and leather component. Crisp and lively with red cherry fruit in the mouth and a nudge over medium acidity. Nice, lingering finish.
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Cave Abbé Rous - Cornet & Cie Blanc 2016 92
Peach, orange peel & blossom, honey, dried apricot, and a hint of green apple. Very nicely balance in the mouth, green apple notes more prevalent, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish. Fresh, lively, very pleasing wine to drink.
60% Grenache Gris 25% Grenache Blanc 5% Marsanne 5% Roussanne 5% Vermentino · 14.5%
Clos Henri - Petit Clos Pinot Noir 2016 92
Earthy, red cherries, young, crisp cranberry, light herbal notes, leafy, minor chalk. Medium tannins and medium plus acidity as well as length. Light sweetness on the palate but with a very pleasant, lingering structure and lightness to it.
100% Pinot Noir · 13.5% · 16.50EUR